Jakarta/Xinhua: Indonesia's holiday island of Bali is planning to welcome international tourists in September following the decision of the country's government to suspend entries of foreigners into the archipelagic nation for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan was announced by Bali governor Wayan Koster after participating in a Balinese Hindu ceremony on Sunday.
Interviewed by local media, he explained that his administration has developed a three-stage plan to reopen activities in the exotic tourist destination in compliance with 'new normal' policies.
At the first stage, which will start on July 9, people working in several particular sectors in the Bali province will be allowed to resume activities, Koster said.
He added that these sectors include those on bureaucracy, health, culture and religion, finance, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), manufacturing, trading, logistics, transportation, plantation, construction as well as traditional and modern markets.
At the second stage, which will start on July 31, local tourists will be allowed to visit the island, he continued.
As for the last stage, which will start on Sept. 11, Koster said that the activities in the tourism sector will be expanded including that on welcoming international tourists.
Bali, which is always crowded by foreign tourists, has been looking quiet since March following the international travel restrictions.
In an interview with Xinhua in April, Bali's Tourism Office chief, I Putu Astawa, said that in normal time, the number of foreign tourist arrivals during March and April was at least 10,000 per day, mainly from China and Australia.
According to him, 50.3 percent of all economic activities in Bali is related to travel and tourism businesses.
Many hotels in the resort island have been undergoing extremely low occupancy rates. Consequently, the lack of visitors has made local tourist guides lose job opportunities, Astawa said.
As of Monday, the number of COVID-19 cases in Bali, according to the data from the Health Ministry, increased to 1,900 with 23 deaths.